What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is the act of making representations on behalf of another to ensure that they receive a fair hearing of their case or an outcome which they seek.

Why is it important?

to understand the complexities of the claims process, how the legislation applies to a veteran’s individual circumstances and the processes involved in applying for compensation, income support, Gold/White cards and any other entitlements under law.

What does an Advocate do?

A military compensations Advocate guides and assists in composing a veterans DVA claims paperwork to better prepare the claims for preferential outcomes and navigates DVA on behalf of the Veteran.

This has proven to be invaluable to Veterans as a well trained advocate can prevent veterans from causing mistakes and unnecessary heartache when dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

Types of Advocacy Help Available

FREE ADVOCACY ASSISTANCE

Non for profit Ex-service Organisations (ESO) such as the Returned Services League (RSL) provide access to paid and volunteered advocates who can provide guidance and assistance with claims for Disability Pensions or Compensation, covering all legislations; VEA, DRCA, MRCA and NLHC.

As these ESOs provide veterans with a free service and are known to have limited resources and levels of advocates and experience. This through veteran reviews and experience can result in inconsistent results for veterans due to the level of varied experience and systems ESO advocates apply.

Pros:

  • Free Services
  • Experience if allocated
  • Personalised
  • Focused on care and treatment

Cons:

  • Level of Skill
  • Inconsistency between Advocates
  • Availability of Service (waiting periods for access)
  • Volunteer dependant (loose obligations)
  • Diminishing service in locations
PRIVATE CONSULTANTS - Advocacy Assistance at a fee

There are a range of privately consulting advocates who at a fee provide assistance to veterans with their DVA claims. Depending on the consultant they might specialise in one or all legislations, as these services are a paid fee the veteran should and be given a professional experience and service.

These professional services are found by web searching or via other veterans experiences and word of mouth.  It would be recommend to feel for the service and research any reputation the consultant has. Many consultants work on the same principals and structures as legal firms charging a lower % as a fee from the achieved compensation results.

Pros:

  • Professional
  • Consistent 
  • Personalised service
  • Skilled & Knowledgeable
  • Focused on Care, Treatment and Compensation

Cons:

  • Paid Service
  • Hard to find – Referral oriented
  • Motivated by Compensation
LEGAL FIRMS - Assistance at high fees

It is known to veterans that legal practices provide a service for processing DVA claims.  Depending on the Legal Firm their fees are known to be from 14 to 18% of the achieved compensation result and could involve administrative fees at the end of process.  Check with the legal firm if any hidden costs will be associated with their service.

If veterans are seeking legal assistance ensure that all injuries and illness service related or caused are explored fully and not split between legal and free ESO services for the claims process.

Pros:

  • Professional Accreditation
  • Assist in other legal matters

Cons:

  • High Fees
  • Compensation focused not treatment
  • Paralegal prepared – potential limited experience
  • Veterans not main source of focus as a practice
  • Motivated by compensation
Wellbeing Officers – Range of services provided
  • Providing information and/or referrals for health, rehabilitation, housing, transport, household assistance, education schemes, and other government or community services and benefits
  • Providing advice and information about government services for transitioning from the military to civilian life
  • Providing information and/or referrals for medical, financial, legal and police matters
  • Providing information and/or referrals for funeral arrangements and bereavement assistance and;
  • Other wellbeing advice and information as determined in discussion with the client.
Military Wellbeing Advocate Level 1

Advocate qualified to assist a veteran or dependants in obtaining the welfare assistance they require, supervised by a suitably qualified advocate.

Military Wellbeing Advocate Level 2

Advocate qualified to assist a veteran or dependants in obtaining the welfare assistance they require without supervision.

Compensation Officers – Range of services provided
  • Prepare and/or lodge liability, compensation and income support claims
  • Prepare requests for review of DVA decisions
  • Prepare appeals for review by the Veterans’ Review Board or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
  • Provide representation at hearings by the Veterans’ Review Board and Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Military Compensation Advocate Level 1

Advocate qualified to complete a primary claim, supervised by a suitably qualified advocate.

Military Compensation Advocate Level 2

Advocate qualified to complete a primary claim with no supervision.

Military Compensation Advocate Level 3

Advocate qualified for representation of clients at the Veterans’ Review Board (VRB).

Military Compensation Advocate Level 4

Advocate qualified for representation of clients at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).